Q: Hi, Dr Dulux. I live in a converted period cottage, which I love, but I'm not sure how to tackle the ground floor rooms, which have rather low ceilings. How can I make the ceiling appear higher? Thanks! Rachel, Wicklow.

A: This is quite a common problem, as you'd imagine in a country full of chocolate box cottages and period homes! Luckily, I'm not short (sorry!) on ideas to help you. Here are a few design tricks to help your spaces feel less little and more lofty.

  1. Decorate your walls with vertical stripes – this helps elongate the walls and injects a varied colour palette into your space.

  2. Paint your ceiling lighter than the walls to give the illusion of more height. To brighten your ceiling's appearance, you could use our Light & Space paint. It has revolutionary light-reflecting technology which opens up smaller spaces that are low on light.

  3. For a more creative way to tackle low ceilings, paint a diagonal on your wall – again, this plays an optical trick on the eye and makes a ceiling appear higher. It will open up the space and alter the perspective.

  4. There are lots of little things you can do to open up your room, too. Try uplighting instead of downward lighting – this is so simple but really makes a big difference! Use a bold floor rug to detract from the low ceiling or hang pictures closer to the ceiling in order to elongate the wall space.

Find a colour in our Light + Space range.